Import PGP Secret Keys

David Shaw dshaw at
Tue Jan 2 14:55:46 CET 2007

On Tue, Jan 02, 2007 at 04:31:45AM -0600, John Rowan wrote:
> I need to import public and private keys created by PGP 8.0.  GnuPG allows
> me to import the PGP keys, but it imports all of them as public keys.  I
> tried to run > gpg --import --allow-secret-key-import " <filename> ", but it
> still imported the PGP private key as a public key in GnuPG.  Am I missing
> something here?

It is difficult to answer this, because this is an "impossible"
occurance.  Public and private keys are not the same, and a private
key somehow ending up in the public keyring in GPG would cause it to
panic and terminate the process.  There are many places where this
assertion is enforced.  Please check that what you think is happening
is really happening.  Is the file you are importing really a private
key?  (gpg --list-packets on the file can help answer this question).
Also, note that if you import a secret key (in either PGP or GPG)
without the corresponding public key, the program will create a public
key from the information in the secret key as a secret key alone is
not useful.  The end result is both a secret and a public key are


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